Michelin Pilot Sport Experience 2015
A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in the Michelin Pilot Sport Experience 2015. The Michelin Pilot Sport Experience 2015 was held in Sepang International Circuit and local and International media reps were invited for this exciting event.
All the media reps were grouped and assigned to teams. We were briefed and then went for quick medical check-up before the start of the event.
It was a casual event and everyone was suited up for it. There were speeches by the VIPs as well as testimonials by the previous trainers as well as instructors. The safety briefing was precise and the most important thing of the day is safety.
We were introduced to our instructors in the coolest way ever. Then, we got into our surprise as we were informed that we will be driving three different types of cars; the rally spec car, the touring spec car as well as the F4 car and lastly we will be given a chance to hop on to either on a Lamborghini or a Le Mans for hot lap.
Our team started with the Rally Driving Experience. There were two Rally Spec Cars for drive. Both are the Citroen DS 3, rally tuned car. We will be driving with an instructor on a man-made dirt circuit.
The cars are manual left hand drive cars. For the first lap, I tried to get used to the car and the feel before I push hard for the remaining laps.
I had fun as the car drifted and I overtook another car in this narrow circuit. The circuit was short but it was fun. Driving on a full racing suit and without air condition is a big challenge especially under the hot sun.
Next the touring car experience. We were driving the Renault Clio Touring Car. As usual we were briefed before the driving experience as every car setup is different. For the Renault Clio, it is the steering gearshift. To start the engine, we need to a few steps to activate using the clutch, button and gearshift.
The clutch is very deep and the brake is very hard (racing spec). We were allowed to drive half of the circuit and I was too anxious in getting my corners. There were cones to guide us but it can be distracting.
For all the three driving experiences, I feel that this is the hardest driving experience. Maybe I was too anxious and trying to familiar with the racing lines, I didn’t manage to get the speed I wished. However, it was a great driving experience. During a touring car is not as easy as I think.
We had our lunch break, refreshed and re energised ourselves before our next drive experience.
The next drive experience was the F4 driving experience. It is a single seater race car and we need to chase our instructors sitting comfortably in their Porshe 911.
We were given a last brief on driving the F4. There was no seat and basically we are sitting in the box. Not the best seat ever but the driving experience is memorable.
I did two runs, getting comfortable on the first run and I spun on the first run and the second run got better. The video might feel that I was driving slow but I almost caught up the Porshe 911 during the end of the straight. Nevertheless, it was really fun and cool driving the F4.
Before our hot lap with either Lamborghini or Le Man, we were given some education on the history as well as the technology of Michelin Tires. From the beginning until today how Michelin Tires has changed the world of tires. The Radial Tire technology everyone is using regardless which brand you are using is created by Michelin Tire. Michelin spent millions on R&D annually to create better and safer tires.
Lastly, it was the hot lap and I got a seat in the Le Mans twin seater racing car. So then I was sitting beside a professional race driver, both of us cramped in to that little box.
We did couple of full laps on the circuit with the Le Mans racing car. The G Force is unbelievable and I was promised to have a bad neck on the next day. It was really fast laps, extreme braking, fast acceleration and lots of adrenaline rush.
All of us gathered together for one last round of thank you note, a video of everyone as well as souvenirs and tokens from the Michelin team. This is the best professionally run event ever I’ve attended. Great hospitality, very professional usherer as well as amazing team! This is definitely one of the most memorable experiences ever in my life. Thank you Michelin Malaysia for inviting me for this racing event.